Friday, December 22, 2006

Sexism and conservatives

One reason I am so bitterly angry towards conservatives is that they are so un-ashamedly sexist. But in all fairness, we have a lot of conservative women to blame for this. Take the ladies at the Eagle Forum who have this to say about honorable women serving in our military,

"Pregnancy and sea time are incompatible. If women become pregnant, they must eventually depart the ship.... Could you imagine a monthly pregnancy screening for women assigned to submarines? Close quarters with mixed crews produce romantic relationships. Our culture has given up on sexual purity, so why do we expect people will magically become `professional' and abstinent once they are recruited? Shipboard romances affect good order and discipline and ruin marriages. The Navy discriminates against obesity, illness, disability, age, and yes, sex. The military's mission is to effectively fight wars, not be an equal opportunity employer pandering to every special interest group. Should we make submarines handicapped accessible?"

Wow, forced pregnancy screenings and comparing military women to whores who bust up the good, honest marriages of all the male navy officers. PLUS comparing women to people with a handicap? Gee whiz. What a fabulous article.

Or the musings of Ann Coulter:

"I think women should be armed but should not be allowed to vote. The problem with women voting is that, you know, women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it. And when they take these polls, it's always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care."

How silly, spending money on taking care of children and education? Good to know Miss Coulter is pro-life until your kid comes out of the womb, then that sucker is on its own. And it's so nice that she's still for that quaint little idea of women being so silly about money. We should go back to the good old days when father knows best gave the little woman some money for groceries and went out and voted for her!

Well women promoting sexism hit a new low in this piece:

Mary Grabar writes "The Girls on the View"

"After watching The View and following the inane statements made on the program, I’ve come to the conclusion that it really is true what Aristotle, Saint Paul, and John Milton said: Women, without male guidance, are illogical, frivolous, and incapable of making any decisions beyond what to make for dinner."

Yes, judge ALL women EVERYWHERE by four or five talk show hosts. Let's make assumptions on all black people based on Oprah. Or wait, let's judge all Muslims based on Osama bin Laden... oh wait, Ann Coulter already does that ("Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity, as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of 'Kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and answer to the name Muhammad'.")

Mary Grabar goes on to say...

"This was the danger of giving women the vote. The danger to conservatives (and the survival of this country) is the voting bloc of single women, i.e., those who lack the guidance of a man in the form of a husband or intellectual mentor."

I don't think I even need to justify this sort of stupidity. Let's make a blanket statement and back it up with no evidence. Men = smart, rational thinking. Women = silly, unreasonable and needing men to guide them. Brilliant.

Grabar goes on to make fun of women on the View for having cleavage (she compares them to prostitutes), makes fun of stay at home moms and male college English professors who teach female authors and "sit down to pee." Ahhh, such mature dialogue.

Grabar talks about how she hates hanging out with women because they just want to squeal and talk about frivolous things-- unlike men:

"Men, on the other hand, are quite capable of holding forth intelligently among themselves, as commentators have done through the years. You don’t have men squealing “Oh, I love your tie!” as they set to embark on a discussion about the future of free world."

Another statement that is based on stereotype, not fact. Grabar is merely recycling years of misogynist rhetoric "Women are silly, they can't hold real discussions or vote or do anything without a man." There's no proof for this, especially considering many studies show that men and women score equally on logic tests and women are kicking men's butts as far as furthering their education. 58% of college students in America are WOMEN.

I'm not trying to argue that women are smarter or better. I think these arguments are a waste of time. But it is important to remember these facts when you start to hear the mindless drivel conservatives are spouting.

Grabar is 100% hypocrite because halfway through the article she talks about some idiotic personality test which proves she's not the typical, stupid, squealing female.

"No I’m not a typical woman. I read philosophy. I hate to shop. I don’t care what I’m wearing. Nothing in my house is coordinated."

Yes, cause all females like to shop and only care about their home decorations and clothes --- and they NEVER read philosophy!

Gee Mary, maybe women aren't dumb, you're just an uppity bitch with a superiority complex. I too find the View impossible to watch, but I wouldn't presume to judge the value of all women based on four celebrities on a talk show, aimed at bringing in viewers not making huge, profound intellectual statements.

The most troubling thoughts come in the comment sections in these articles. All the conservative men who share these beliefs about women being silly, child-like and in need of men to guide them, finally feel comfortable expressing their views-- because, after all, a woman said it first.

The biggest irony is that both conservative men and women argue that a women's place is in the home taking care of the children. What does it say that you trust the most important job -- bringing up the future generation--to people you don't trust to make adult, intelligent decisions.

Their argument makes no freakin' sense!

Update at 3:30-- read this also for more great insight... Damn Feministe, they always say it better :)


Anonymous said...

Your rant on not allowing women to serve in certain capacities really hit a nerve as that was why I left the navy. I was serving on an all male crewed ship that was in line to be integrated, we had a female captain come aboard to inspect the ship and she determined that our best berthing was below standards for females. Geez.

The next ship I served on was doing a med cruise when I get there and one of the first real problems we had was we lost all of our teletype technicians. The tender (one of the few ships that had women on them at the time) which was tasked with supporting the battle group came over with no teletype repair technicians, they should have had about 20. What happened? They were all female and all but the most senior woman got pregnant so they didn't have to go do a med cruise. So it put our entire battle group in a serious bind. We had to send our teletype repair tech to the tender to help out leaving us with squat.

Ah and then more fun, we lost 2 lieutenants, what happenend? An 18 year old girl just of high school stuck in the middle of an ocean for a year decided she wanted out and accused the Lt. of sexual misconduct of some sort. Dunno if he did it but he was off that ship immediately. Contrary to what you hear about the service, where I was stationed if a female made an accusation it was taken as the truth and the Lt. was kicked out of the service. We didn't even know what happened to him for a long time. The next Lt. must have, but she got him too. The next Lt. really didn't leave his stateroom much.

I was a supervisor with sometimes 3-4 females working for me and I could not ask them to do anything they did not want to. How could I? I could end up in the brig if they were having a bad day and made up a story. This wasn't just me it was the consensus of all the male supervisors.

The first ship I was on was great all guys, no sexual tensions, well at least for the straight guys. And we all for the most part got along, got the job done and came back home. With women on board it was always drama, they would have to change sleeping arrangements every week because somebody had a fight. We had civilians on this ship and one of the women was sleeping with one of the officers who was married, big trouble with that as the crew now had something to blackmail him with.

Being in the service is not like a job. I knew more about the guys I worked with then than I know about my own family. You live, eat, sleep, and work with them. 24/7. They become like brothers to you. You can't put mixed crews in that situation and not degrade the ability of the crew to perform the mission. Stick 6, 18 year old men and 6, 18 year old women in the same room for 6 months and there will be a lot of grief and misery. It starts out a blast but soon degrades into jealousy, unintended pregnancies, broken marriages and ruined careers.

Adrienne said...

I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that these women didn't get pregnant on their own. It's a lot easier to be upset with the women who got pregnant and had to leave you in a bind because the physical evidence of sex is on them, but the blame should be shared amongst the men on board who 'helped' them get that way.

Futhermore, to be fair, I work in a building with 35 women-- no men-- so I totally understand how women can be... being that I am one myself. But just because women have more o f a tendency to create, magnify, or be attracted to drama, does not mean that they aren't good enough to fight or die for their country. That's absurd. In my opinion, everyone should be greatful that these women-- flawed or no-- are brave enough to make this committment to the service of their country, and not consumed with the fact that they gossip or *gasp* enjoy sex as much as their male crewmembers.

It is sad if she lied about the Lt. and sexual misconduct. That is a misguided part of our society. But it's just as easy for a man to accuse a womand, and there's no way you can know for sure whether or not it actually happened. In my honest opinion if you're afraid that a woman is going to turn you in for sexual misconduct, maybe there is somethign you are afraid of in your own character, and I'm being totally serious. I've known lots of guys in the millitary that have never had a problem, because they respect and trust woman as much as their male counterparts. Maybe the problem lies with you, sir, not them.

Lastly, the minute I hear Ann Coulter say ANYTHING even remotely helpful, I think I will die of shock. I know plenty of single, conservative women who really enjoy having the right to vote... and plenty more women who will be spurned to vote liberal if they have to agree with Ann Coulter to call themselves conservative. Is her goal REALLY to get the vote taken away from women? Because it will never happen.

And what is the deal with that woman denouncing women as only able to make desicions with a man to guide her, and then saying that hshe is not a typical woman, hates to shop, nothing coordinates in her house... so she's saying that it's a woman's job to shop, coordinate the house, etc, and she sucks at it. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Anonymous said...

Well Adrienne I don't know who got the women pregnant whether it their husbands or their boyfriends or whoever, they got pregnant before the ship got underway. That ship was in port for several years so it was like having a normal job, you got to go home every night to your family.

My point is that women and combat duty do not go together. Nobody wants to go into combat or extended periods away from home. Men do it because after they sign up they have no choice. There are no "easy outs". When it is your turn you go, period.
Women on the other hand have options. Don't want to go into combat? Get pregnant! Don't want to spend all day lugging 50 pound milk cartons onboard? Tell your supervisor you are on your period and can't do it. Problem solved, let the guys do it.

That was the way it was on my ship. I went to that ship thinking life would be great, and came away with a vastly different opinion.

I would ask that you take a second and look at things from the other side. When the powers that be decide that based solely on an accusation, no proof required, that someone can be convicted of a felony. Doesn't that make you a bit afraid? When you see your boss who has decided to make the military his career, booted out of the navy and the person making the accusation not even questioned, does that make you think at all that it could happen to you? How about twice in 4 months? What is your threshold if any? Mine was fairly low since I worked indirectly with that accuser.

It is a tough issue no doubt, you can't make women second class citizens and make them come up with incontrovertible proof since by and large such things happen with no witnesses, but you can't convict people based on a single accusation, no questions asked, without demoralizing an alienating the other half.

The solution is of course to segregate the sexes for combat and other such situations, as has been done since the birth of warfare. I don't have any problem at all with women in the military. I think that women only squadrons and battalions would be great.

I think that the men only registration for the draft is a bunch of crap if women are allowed to serve! What a bunch of I want my cake and eat too kind of crap is that?!!

This is a pro-choice blog, so I would like to hear your opinion on mandatory abortions for women who serve in the military. The fact is that if a man does something to his body that limits his ability to serve (shooting himself in the foot for example) he is punished, up to and including jail time and a dishonorable discharge. Even sunburns suffered as a result of too much booze and sun on leave have been prosecuted.

Since pregnancy is something that ~can~ be prevented why are women not subjected to the same standards? As with all things, if you tell people they are equal but a subset of them get more privileges and rights than others there will be resentment. What would your solution be? Status quo? Blame the men?

Count me as one of those men who never had any problem with the women I worked with. Your accusation is disgusting, I disagree with something said and am accused of sexual misconduct.

You are exactly who I was afraid of, you dislike the opinions of someone disagreeing with you and accusations of misconduct spew forth. Do you see how easy that was? Do you understand that in the situations I described that your words could result in prison time for someone?

Tobes said...

My initial response to this comment is:

Ummmm, people cannot be convicted of rape based solely on an accusation. There is legal procedure and you can't just convict someone of a crime based on someone saying "he raped me." Even in military court. So don't know what you're talking about.

Forced, mandatory abortion-- are you insane? That is no longer "choice." A woman's body is her own. Her reproductive decisions are hers to make.

If a woman in the military becomes pregnant she will have to find a different capacity in which to serve. Pregnancy can be a choice but it can also be an accident-- it's the nature of the beast. There's nothing else quite like it.

You need to understand where we're coming from. The way you approach these topics shows a profound ignorance. Suggesting that a man can be convicted on accusation alone is ludicrous and to offer a solution like forced abortion just is really insulting.

It's a blog and things can get heated... that's just how it goes.

Adrienne said...

For starters, in your initial comment you failed to mention that the ship was at port and these women were going home to their families at night. The implications of what you said-- although I admit you didn't actually say it-- was that these women got pregnant while at sea, and that angered me because, if that were the case, then it wouldn't be only the woman's 'fault'.

I will reiterate that I find it appalling and despicable that you would advocate for women being disallowed from the military because of the actions of a few. I'm sure if we looked back through public record we would find much more instances of men being convicted of misconduct in the military long before women were even allowed in (and if your argument here is that the men can be convicted with only accusations and not proof, which I doubt, then I would suggest that th eproblem lies with the military courts, NOT with the women accusers). Was the argument at the time that men shouldn't be allowed in the military? Of course not.

Yes, women get pregnant. It's true. As Tobes pointed out, sometimes it's on purpose, sometimes it's an accident, and I won't lie and say that sometimes women do it on purpose for not such noble reasons, but that's just how humans were made. If they become pregnant and can no longer perform their job function, then they need to be given another job, period. It's ridiculous to assume that just because a woman becomes pregnant-- for whatever reason-- then her committment to serving our nation is any less.

Also, if women COULD sign up for the draft, I'd be first in line. However, I don't think a draft should be legalized anyway, for either gender, so the point you make is moot. Not to mention the fact that the law stating that only men have to sign up for the draft is not at all women's fault, since the law was made by men.

I'd be very surprised if a man was actually punished for an accidental injury to himself that came about in a responsible manner, for example, if he was cleaning his gun, it went off and shot him in the foot accidentally, and he got a dishonorable discharge, I would be shocked, as I'm sure many in the nation would be. If this same man, however, in some way put himself in harm's way irresponsibly and made himself unable to serve, then I wouldnt' be surprised if there was a punishment.

If you are able to PROVE that a woman got pregnant purposely to avoid having to go into combat or perform some task that she didn't want to, that would be one thing. If, out of resentment, a rumor is started that a woman-- NO MATTER WHAT HER SEXUAL PAST OR PREFERENCES ARE-- got pregnant because of the above stated reasons, then there is NO WAY that she should be punished.

At this time I would like to point out that any person who signs up for the military does so knowing full well that they could die, at any time, with or without explanation (and I'd like to mention that when women do it, they do it knowing that they will probably have to serve with men that will disrespect and mistreat them moreso than their male counterparts). Any person who makes that kind of committment, in my boat, deserves all the respect and compassion that we could possibly give them, man or woman. The fact that you have the audacity to complain about a woman who is brave enough to make this committment, even with her physical 'limitations', like a period (which, btw, is not exactly our choice or our fault, and has been medically proven to be debilitating at times), does not make you sound manly, chilvarous, or courageous. It is absolutley ridiculous.

Tobes said...

Sing it! Right on the money.

Another thought that just occured to me. Any woman who's had experience caring for children can probably guess that having a child to "get out of work" is a little nutso... cause, ummm child = a LOT OF WORK.